It’s amazing what you can learn from Game of Thrones.
The lesson to be learned from this search on Google is that people love to read articles that relate a topic to their favourite show, movie, book, personality, and so on. It can take a bit of work to make the necessary connections, and you may never watch, read, listen, or see things the same way again, but it’s worth it.
Here are some thoughts for approaching this kind of blog post:
Be Genuinely Interested
The trick is to base the article on something you truly enjoy.
If you try to write about a show or book you’re unfamiliar with – sorry, but I haven’t the faintest idea who Daenerys Targaryen is – you’re going to look exactly like what you are: someone trying to cash in on a trend. As they say, write about what you know. Now, if I were to write about 10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Inspector Barnaby…
Current Is Good
If there’s a current show, movie, or book that everyone’s talking about, you’re golden. Even if a visitor doesn’t know the references, they’re likely to have heard of whatever you’re referring to. And if the lessons you’re teaching are valuable, they won’t mind not getting all the refrences. The goal here is to get noticed and people are more likely to notice (and pass along) something related to what they’re already talking about.
By current I don’t mean referencing something that happened on the most recent episode of a show. You don’t want to be that specific. You’re trying to pick up on general traits of characters or recurring themes.
By current I do mean what’s being talked about now, even if it’s from the past. When the latest movie version of Les Miserables came out, there was a revival of interest in the 19th century story; Mad Men revived an interest in all things 1950’s and 60’s; the classic novel and movie To Kill a Mockingbird had a resurgence when Harper Lee’s unpublished novel was recently released.
Quirky Is Good
The more unusual the angle you can find, the better. The resulting observations need to be useful, but the more you can make people look at the referrent in a new light, the better the impact of your observations. If you could reasonably relate Making a Murderer to tips for caring for your car, that would catch people off guard.
This is where the work really comes into this type of post. Being imaginative is not easy, so as you’re watching, reading, or listening, let your mind wander a bit and hopefully some inspiration will strike.
Humour can be part of the quirkiness, but unless you’re going for a humour piece, make sure the fun doesn’t obscure the value of your advice for visitors.
Don’t Force The Point
If you try to force connections or analogies you’ll end up with a piece that sounds forced. You may have an inspiration for one connection, but if you try to come up with another six just so you can say “7 Things I Learned From…” you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Stick with “A Lesson I Learned From…”